Going into labor can ignite a mixture of elation and anxiety. Childbirth Educator and Certified Hypnotherapist Delcie Adams feels that the importance of maintaining a relaxed mind and body during the birthing process cannot be emphasized enough. She says, “The use of alternative tools such as aromatherapy and hypnosis are tried and true methods that have been applied for centuries to support and enhance a more relaxed birthing experience.”
Diffusing Essential Oils in the Birth Room
When diffused, essential oils help transform even the most clinical birth room into a more personalized, tranquil sanctuary. When former film producer Meredith Habif went into labor, she relied on her diffuser to create a calming environment. “I was in a zone during labor, trying to manage the pain,” she recalls. “Just smelling the oils gave me an inner sense of calm and grounding, which I needed in order to be able to focus.”
When the tiny oil molecules hit the air, they travel through the nose into the limbic system of the brain. The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th edition explains that the limbic system is directly connected to the part of the brain that regulates your breathing, heart rate, and anxiety levels, which explains why therapeutic grade essential oils can have a significant psychological effect. Adams adds, “When women are given the space to relax and take their time to birth with freedom and dignity, all things are possible.”
Debra Raybern ND, author of Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Infant Care, recommends diffusing a blend of:
Lavender: a natural relaxant; calming and balancing.
Frankincense: stimulates glands in the brain to create an emotional upliftment.
Ylang Ylang: promotes mental clarity, peace, and confidence.
Roman Chamomile: helps relieve anxiety.
Protection Against Hospital-Acquired Infection
When you’re giving birth, you’ve got enough on your mind without having to worry about hospital-acquired infection. Essential oils are one of the most potent substances to guard against bacteria and viruses.
One of the best ways to illustrate their potency is by examining their frequency. Megahertz is a measurable rate of electrical energy, or frequency, between two any points. In 1992, Bruce Tainio of Tainio Technology built a monitor that was capable of accurately measuring frequency. His findings were enlightening:
Healthy human body 62 to 68 MHz
Cold and flu symptoms begin at 58 MHz
Fresh produce can reach up to 15 MHz
Dry herbs measure between 12 to 22 MHz
Fresh herbs range between 20 to 27 MHz
Processed, canned and frozen foods 0 MHz
Essential oils range between 52 to 320 MHz
Even the most gorgeous, organic produce is no match for essential oils when it comes to boosting the immune system. When you diffuse the oils, you’re disinfecting the air and breathing those protective molecules into your lungs.
Excellent oils to protect against infection and boost immunity are:
Myrtle: antibacterial; may help guard the immune system against infectious disease.
Lemongrass: contains potent anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
Rosemary: antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal.
Melaleuca (tea tree): antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal.
Essential Oil Compresses During Labor and Delivery
Cool washcloths come in handy during labor. Raybern recommends a blend of:
Jasmine: uplifting; eases anxiety.
Roman Chamomile: a natural relaxant; reduces restlessness.
Geranium: calms nerves; creates a sense of peace and calm.
Lavender: promotes relaxation.
Essential Oils for Lower Back Pain During Labor and Delivery
To help ease pressure and lower back pain apply:
Marjoram: contains properties that help soothe muscles.
Lavender: helps muscles relax.
Peppermint: a natural pain-killer.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease.
Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Infant Care; Debra Raybern, ND, CNC, ICA
Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th edition, compiled by Essential Science Publishing